Teacher painting Southeast Lauderdale High School this summer

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - Summer break doesn’t always begin at the same time for both students and teachers. Dana Buchanan is the girl’s basketball coach and business education teacher at Southeast High. For part of the summer, she is also painting the school.

“I’ve averaged about 15-20 hours a week painting, some days I paint all day when I don’t have basketball practice, but then some days we have basketball games,” Buchanan says. “We’re playing in team camps in a league, so when we play sometimes I don’t come back and paint, if not, usually we won’t practice the next day and I’ll paint for an entire day the next day.”

Buchanan says that painting the school is important to her.

“Everybody knows we’re a community school and this is part of the community,” Buchanan says. “I mean, I wouldn’t want my home to look bad, so therefore where I spend most of my day during the school year, we don’t want it to look bad either. We want it to look nice for visitors and for the kids who are here every day.”

Buchanan will be taking 7 students to the Future Business Leaders of America Nationals Competition later this summer. Earning the extra money for painting will help ease the cost of the trip for Buchanan so she can give the students a more worthwhile experience.

“We’re going to Nationals this summer and the school district does not pay for me to go, that comes from our fundraising that we do or out of my pocket just like it does for the kids, so that’s an extra cost this summer that I normally wouldn’t have,” Buchanan says. “But when you have seven kids going to Nationals, you want to take them because they worked that hard and you want to reward them by taking them.”

Buchanan says she is hoping to finish painting the school by the end of the month. The new school year for students begins August 6th.